David Bennett has been named new principal for Chestnut Grove Middle School after principal David Durham was called to active duty with the National Guard until the end of March.
Melisa Jessup, Stokes County School’s Executive Director of Human Resources, said a placement will be found for Durham when he returns.
Bennett served as the assistant principal at Chestnut Grove from 2011 to 2014 before taking on an administrative role at Union Cross Elementary in Kernersville.
“Chestnut Grove has a top notch staff; a staff that is very passionate about teaching students. It has the potential to be the best school in the district and the state,” he said. “Chestnut Grove’s staff offer a wealth of knowledge. The school does not have a lot of teacher turnover. Many of these teachers grew up in the area and want to give back. When you have a faculty with such passion, why would you not want to lead them?”
Bennett said he has a strong sense of the community and understands their expectations.
From 1999 until 2011 he worked as the director of bands at West Stokes High School where he instructed concert bands, the marching band, flags, percussion classes and began a jazz ensemble and a basketball band. In 2008, he was named Stokes County School and County Teacher of the Year.
Bennett said it was one of the best professional experiences of his life starting a band program and seeing students excel.
“It was a difficult decision for me to leave, but I wanted to have a larger impact on students and teachers. I like to think that my experience as a band director will assist me as a principal. I have a drive to lead and be the best. I hope that what I instilled in my students I can now instill in my staff.”
Being a part of Stokes County Schools is exciting, Bennett said.
“I left to try and get more experience as an administrator. The three plus years at Union Cross have been very special. I’m leaving a good place to come home and reconnect with an amazing tradition of outstanding leadership, under the guidance of Superintendent Dr. Brad Rice.”
Bennett earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Appalachian State University, a Masters of Music Education from UNC-Greensboro, a Masters of School Administration from Gardner-Webb University and an Educational Specialist degree from Appalachian State University.
His start date is expected to be Oct. 9.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.